This is the first book to analyze systematically crucial aspects of ancient Greek philosophy in their original context of mystery, religion, and magic. The author brings to light recently uncovered evidence about ancient Pythagoreanism and its influence on Plato, and reconstructs the fascinating esoteric transmission of Pythagorean ideas from the Greek West down to the alchemists and magicians of Egypt, and from there into the world of Islam.
Oxford Studies in AncientPhilosophy is a volume of original articles on all aspects of ancientphilosophy. The articles may be of substantial length, and include critical notices of major books. OSAP is now published twice yearly, in both hardback and paperback.
In this re-titled and substantially revised update of his _Classical Philosophy_, Christopher Shields expands his coverage to include the Hellenistic era, and now offers an introduction to more than 1,000 years of ancientphilosophy. From Thales and other Pre-Socratics through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and on to Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Scepticism, _Ancient Philosophy_ traces the important connections between these periods and individuals without losing sight of the novelties and dynamics unique to each. The coverage of Plato and Aristotle (...) also has been expanded. It now includes, for example, updated coverage of Plato's allegories of the cave and the divided line and the metaphor of the sun as well as features of Plato's epistemology. Shields also adds new discussion on Aristotle's theory of virtue and his approach to the Socratic problem of _akrasia_, or weakness of will. In terms of its structure, _Ancient Philosophy_ is presented so that each philosophical position receives: a brief introduction, a sympathetic review of its principal motivations and primary supporting arguments, and a short assessment, inviting readers to evaluate its plausibility. The result is a book that brings the ancient arguments to life, making the introduction truly contemporary. It will serve as both a first stop and a well visited resource for any student of the subject. _Ancient Philosophy_ offers a vivid picture of the ideas that flourished at philosophy's long birth and considers their relevance, both to the historical development of the Western philosophical tradition, and to philosophy today. (shrink)
This paper presents rational and unanimously agreeable norms in governance, economic policy, constitution and religious and scientific beliefs for civilized coexistence. The basis of unanimous agreeability is that individuals do not prefer to have their wealth robbed, even surreptitiously. This preference is unanimous because even robbers do not want to be robbed. I argue that unanimously agreeable norms are necessary for civilized co-existence of humans and are consistent with the ancientphilosophy, which originated in India more than 3000 (...) years BC and is reflected in Gita, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/bhagavad_gita. Gita is considered by Courts of India as a philosophical document. The basic ethos of Gita is explicit and transparent: the state must not allow anyone to take away others' property even surreptitiously. The modern constitution ordains freedom through rights to property, liberty and pursuit for happiness of individuals. But it has tacitly allowed establishment of a system of governance to facilitate surreptitious robbery. Individuals accumulate property like home and retirement savings with a hope to attain freedom, eventually, which they cannot achieve if they are robbed, even surreptitiously. The ancientphilosophy of Gita prohibits robbery of any kind and, thus, guarantees hope for individual freedom. The modern philosophy—underlying the established system tacitly allowing surreptitious robbery—cannot, however, achieve individual freedom. Widespread or inclusive economic prosperity can be attained only if the constitution and rules of law are unanimously agreeable which will be consistent with ancient ethos but not modern philosophy. (shrink)
While few soldiers may have read the works of Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius, it is undoubtedly true that the ancientphilosophy known as Stoicism guides the actions of many in the military. Soldiers and seamen learn early in their training "to suck it up," to endure, to put aside their feelings and to get on with the mission. Stoic Warriors is the first book to delve deeply into the ancient legacy of this relationship, exploring what the Stoic (...)philosophy actually is, the role it plays in the character of the military (both ancient and modern), and its powerful value as a philosophy of life. Marshalling anecdotes from military history--ranging from ancient Greek wars to World War II, Vietnam, and Iraq--Nancy Sherman illuminates the military mind and uses it as a window on the virtues of the Stoic philosophy, which are far richer and more interesting than our popularized notions. Sherman--a respected philosopher who taught at the US Naval Academy--explores the deep, lasting value that Stoicism can yield, in issues of military leadership and character; in the Stoic conception of anger and its control (does a warrior need anger to go to battle?); and in Stoic thinking about fear and resilience, grief and mourning, and the value of camaraderie and brotherhood. Sherman concludes by recommending a moderate Stoicism, where the task for the individual, both civilian and military, youth and adult, is to temper control with forgiveness, and warrior drive and achievement with humility and humor. Here then is a perceptive investigation of what makes Stoicism so compelling not only as a guiding principle for the military, but as a philosophy for anyone facing the hardships of life. (shrink)
Method in AncientPhilosophy brings together fifteen new, specially written essays by leading scholars on a broad subject of central importance. The ancient Greeks recognized that different forms of human activity are guided by different methods of reasoning; examination of how they reasoned, and how they thought about their own reasoning, helps us to see how they came to hold the views they did, and how our own methods of enquiry have developed under their influence. Contributors include (...) Terence Irwin, Patricia Curd, Ian Mueller, Robert Bolton, A.A. Long, Gail Fine, Constance C. Meinwald, Lesley Brown, Gisela Striker, C.D.C. Reeve, Charlotte Witt, Richard Kraut, Sarah Broadie, James Allen, and G.E.R. Lloyd. (shrink)
The origins of the Western philosophical tradition lie in the ancient Greco-Roman world. This volume provides a unique insight into the life and writings of a diverse group of philosophers in antiquity and presents the latest thinking on their views on God, the gods, religious belief and practice. Beginning with the 'pre-Socratics', the volume then explores the influential contributions made to the Western philosophy of religion by the three towering figures of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The chapters that (...) follow cover the the leading philosophers of the major schools of the ancient world - Epicureanism, Stoicism, Neoplatonism and the early Christian Church. "AncientPhilosophy of Religion" will be of interest to scholars and students of Philosophy, Classics and Religion, while remaining accessible to any interested in the rich cultural heritage of ancient religious thought. (shrink)
Ancient philosophers from an otherwise diverse range of traditions were connected by their shared use of aporia - translated as puzzlement rooted in conflicts of reasons - as a core tool in philosophical enquiry. The essays in this volume provide the first comprehensive study of aporetic methodology among numerous major figures and influential schools, including the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Alexander of Aphrodisias, Academic sceptics, Pyrrhonian sceptics, Plotinus and Damascius. They explore the differences and similarities in these philosophers' approaches (...) to the source, structure, and aim of aporia, their views on its function and value, and ideas about the proper means of generating such a state among thinkers who were often otherwise opposed in their overall philosophical orientation. Discussing issues of method, dialectic, and knowledge, the volume will appeal to those interested in ancientphilosophy and in philosophical enquiry more generally. (shrink)
This work investigates how ancient philosophers understood productive knowledge or technê and used it to explain ethics, rhetoric, politics and cosmology. In eleven chapters leading scholars set out the ancient debates about technê from the Presocratic and Hippocratic writers, through Plato and Aristotle and the Hellenistic age, ending in the Neoplatonism of Plotinus and Proclus. Amongst the many themes that come into focus are: the model status of ancient medicine in defining the political art, the similarities between (...) the Platonic and Aristotelian conceptions of technê, the use of technê as a paradigm for virtue and practical rationality, technê´s determining role in Platonic conceptions of cosmology, technê´s relationship to experience and theoretical knowledge, virtue as an 'art of living', the adaptability of the criteria of technê to suit different skills, including philosophy itself, the use in productive knowledge of models, deliberation, conjecture and imagination. (shrink)
Translated by Henrik Rosenmeier, A History of AncientPhilosophy charts the origins and development of ancient philosophical thought. For easy reference, the book is divided chronologically into six main parts. The sections are further divided into philosophers and philosophical movements: *Pre-Socratic Philosophy, including mythology, the Pythagoreans and Parmenides *The Great Century of Athens, including the Sophists and Socrates *Plato, including The Republic, The Symposium and The Timaeus *Aristotle, including The Physics, The Metaphysics and The Poetics *Hellenistic (...)Philosophy, including the Sceptics, the Stoics, the Epicureans and Cicero *Late Antiquity, including Neoplatonism, Origen and St Augustine. This comprehensive and meticulously documented book is structured to make ancient philosophical thought and ancient thinkers accessible. It contains: *full references to primary sources *detailed interpretations of key philosophical passages, including surveys of previous philosophical readings *an overview of the development of ancient philosophical thought *discussions of the relationships between philosophers and their ideas *analyses of key philosophical concepts and ideologies including ontology, epistemology, logic, semantics, moral and political philosophy, theology and aesthetics *explanations of Greek philosophical terminology. (shrink)
Part of The Blackwell Readings in Philosophy Series, this survey of ancientphilosophy explores the scope of ancientphilosophy, focusing on the key philosophers and their texts, examining how the foundations of philosophy as we know it were laid.
_Ancient Philosophy: A Companion to the Core Readings_ is designed as an approachable guide to the most important and influential works of ancientphilosophy. The book begins with a brief overview of ancient Greek mythology and the pre-Socratic philosophers. It then examines a number of the most important works from Plato and Aristotle, including _Euthyphro_, _Meno_, _Republic_, the _Categories_, the _Physics_, and the _Nicomachean Ethics_, before concluding with a brief look at Hellenistic philosophy and the (...) origins of Neoplatonism. Readers who might otherwise struggle with the original texts will find an exceedingly helpful guide in Stumpf’s clear explanations and analyses. Numerous diagrams and images are provided to aid in comprehension. (shrink)
Sir Anthony Kenny here tells the fascinating story of the birth of philosophy and its remarkable flourishing in the ancient Mediterranean world. This is the initial volume of a four-book set in which Kenny will unfold a magisterial new history of Western philosophy, the first major single-author history of philosophy to appear in decades. AncientPhilosophy spans over a thousand years and brings to life the great minds of the past, from Thales, Pythagoras, and (...) Parmenides, to Socrates, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Augustine. The book's great virtue is that it is written by one of the world's leading authorities on the subject. Instead of an uncritical, straightforward recitation of known facts--Plato and his cave of shadows, Aristotle's ethics, Augustine's City of God--we see the major philosophers through the eyes of a man who has spent a lifetime contemplating their work. Thus we do not simply get an overview of Aristotle, for example, but a penetrating and insightful critique of his thought. Kenny offers an illuminating account of the various schools of thought, from the Pre-Socratics to the Epicureans. He examines the development of logic and reason, ancient ideas about physics ("how things happen"), metaphysics and ethics, and the earliest thinking about the soul and god. Vividly written, but serious and deep enough to offer a genuine understanding of the great philosophers, Kenny's lucid and stimulating history will become the definitive work for anyone interested in the people and ideas that shaped the course of Western thought. (shrink)
Oxford Studies in AncientPhilosophy is a volume of original articles on all aspects of ancientphilosophy. The articles may be of substantial length, and include critical notices of major books. OSAP is now published twice yearly, in both hardback and paperback.
The tradition of ancientphilosophy is a long, rich and varied one, in which a constant note is that of discussion and argument. This book introduces readers to some ancient debates to get them to engage with the ancient developments of some themes. Getting away from the presentation of ancientphilosophy as a succession of Great Thinkers, the book gives a sense of the freshness and liveliness of ancientphilosophy, and of its (...) wide variety of themes and styles. (shrink)
Sir Anthony Kenny tells the fascinating story of the birth of philosophy and its remarkable flourishing in the ancient Mediterranean world. This is the first of four volumes in which he unfolds a magisterial new history of Western philosophy. Specially written for a broad popular readership, but serious and deep enough to offer a genuine understanding of the great philosophers, Kenny's lucid and stimulating history will become the definitive work for anyone interested in the people and ideas (...) that shaped the course of Western thought. (shrink)
This paper describes a strategy for getting students interested in ancient, especially Hellenistic, philosophy. While the works of Aristotle, the Stoics, the Skeptics, and the Epicureans may strike students as impossibly distant in time and thus far removed from their own personal concerns, students are always interested in the topics of free will and moral responsibility. Teaching the transition from Hellenic to Hellenistic philosophy through an emphasis on treatments of these topics engages students and makes feasible the (...) teaching of an understudied, extremely important period in Western philosophy. The author advocates focusing specifically on the debate between Aristotle and the Stoics on whether “being able to do otherwise” is a necessary condition for freedom. After presenting a detailed overview of the arguments that comprise this debate, the author offers suggestions on how this strategy might be augmented and on how to apply this strategy to courses which do not focus exclusively on ancientphilosophy. (shrink)
_The Blackwell Guide to Ancient Philosophy_ provides a comprehensive treatment of the principal figures and movements of philosophy from its origins before Socrates, through the towering achievements of Plato and Aristotle, and into its final developments in late antiquity. Provides a comprehensive guide to ancientphilosophy from the pre-Socratics to late antiquity. Written by a cast of distinguished philosophers. Covers the pre-Socratics, the sophistic movement, Epicureanism, academic skepticism, stoicism, and the neo-Platonists. Features an index and a (...) comprehensive bibliography of both primary and secondary works. (shrink)
Presents an introduction to philosophy in the ancient world, discussing the writings of the Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, as well as the teachings of Stoicism, Epicureanism, and the early Jewish and Christian authors.
This paper examines Hume?s comments on and claims about ancientphilosophy. A clear and consistent picture emerges from doing so. While Hume is a lover of ancient literature, he holds ancientphilosophy in very low regard, as passage after passage discloses, with one qualification and one important exception. Hume appropriates the mantle of ?Academic? sceptic for himself; but in fact his Academic (or ?mitigated?) scepticism has only minimal affinity with the ancient school of this (...) name, having more in common with early modern sceptical positions. The exception is found in the ?painterly? depictions of character and other features of moral life, where Hume holds many of the ancients in very high regard, seeing them as superior to the moderns. The bases of these respective views of Hume?s are explored, with an interpretation which construes Hume?s ?anatomist?/?painter? contrast as meant non-ironically. On the anatomist or theoretical side, Hume nonetheless ? rightly or wrongly, and contrary to the views of a number of his prominent readers ? sees a radical, dramatic break between early modern ?scientific? philosophy, and anything which preceded it. (shrink)
This book revisits, and sheds fresh light on, some key texts and debates in ancientphilosophy. Its twin targets are 'Old Chestnuts' – well-known passages in the works of ancient philosophers about which one might have thought everything there is to say has already been said – and 'Sacred Cows' – views about what ancient philosophers thought, on issues of philosophical importance, that have attained the status of near-unquestioned orthodoxy. Thirteen leading scholars respond to these challenges (...) by offering new perspectives on familiar material and challenging some prevailing orthodoxies. On authors ranging from the Presocratics to Plotinus, the book represents a snapshot of contemporary scholarship in ancientphilosophy, and a vigorous and illuminating affirmation of its continuing interest and power. The volume is dedicated to Professor M. M. McCabe, an inspiring scholar and teacher, colleague and friend to both the editors and the contributors. (shrink)
Pierre Hadot, whose inaugural lecture to the chair of the History of Hellenistic and Roman Through at the Collège de France we are publishing here, is one of the most significant and wide-ranging historians of ancientphilosophy writing today. His work, hardly known in the English-reading world except among specialists, exhibits that rare combination of prodigious historical scholarship and rigorous philosophical argumentation that upsets any preconceived distinction between the history of philosophy and philosophy proper. In addition (...) to being the translator and author of monographs on Plotinus, Vitorinus, Porphyry, and many others, Hadot’s most important general philosophical work is entitled Exercises spirituels et philosophie antique.1 Combined with detailed studies of Socrates and Marcus Aurelius, this work presents a history of spiritual exercises from Socrates to early Christianity, an account of their decline in modern philosophy, and a discussion of the different conceptions of philosophy that have companied the trajectory and fate of the theory and practice of spiritual exercises. Hadot’s “Forms of Life and Forms of Discourse in AncientPhilosophy” provides an overview of his major themes and preoccupations, and gives some indication of the historical scope of his work. This lecture also illuminates the methodological problems one faces in studying the history of thought, especially problems concerning the evolution, reinterpretation, and even misunderstanding of the meaning and significance of philosophical terminology. In this brief introduction, I can do no more than attempt to provide a context for Hadot’s inaugural lecture, by way of summary of his major work, and, more specifically for reader’s of Critical Inquiry, to sketch the profound importance that Hadot’s writings had for the last works of Michel Foucault. Arnold I. Davidson, executive editor of Critical Inquiry, is associate professor of philosophy and a member of the Committees on the Conceptual Foundations of Science and General Studies in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. He introduced and edited the “Symposium on Heidegger and Nazism” . He is currently working on the history of horror as it relates to the epistemology of norms and deviations. (shrink)
Knowledge, Nature, and the Good brings together some of John Cooper's most important works on ancientphilosophy. In thirteen chapters that represent an ideal companion to the author's influential Reason and Emotion, Cooper addresses a wide range of topics and periods--from Hippocratic medical theory and Plato's epistemology and moral philosophy, to Aristotle's physics and metaphysics, academic scepticism, and the cosmology, moral psychology, and ethical theory of the ancient Stoics.Almost half of the pieces appear here for the (...) first time or are presented in newly expanded, extensively revised versions. Many stand at the cutting edge of research into ancient ethics and moral psychology. Other chapters, dating from as far back as 1970, are classics of philosophical scholarship on antiquity that continue to play a prominent role in current teaching and scholarship in the field. All of the chapters are distinctive for the way that, whatever the particular topic being pursued, they attempt to understand the ancient philosophers' views in philosophical terms drawn from the ancient philosophical tradition itself.Through engaging creatively and philosophically with the ancient texts, these essays aim to make ancient philosophical perspectives freshly available to contemporary philosophers and philosophy students, in all their fascinating inventiveness, originality, and deep philosophical merit. This book will be treasured by philosophers, classicists, students of philosophy and classics, those in other disciplines with an interest in ancientphilosophy, and anyone who seeks to understand philosophy in philosophical terms. (shrink)
Sir Anthony Kenny here tells the fascinating story of the birth of philosophy and its remarkable flourishing in the ancient Mediterranean world. This is the initial volume of a four-book set in which Kenny will unfold a magisterial new history of Western philosophy, the first major single-author history of philosophy to appear in decades. AncientPhilosophy spans over a thousand years and brings to life the great minds of the past, from Thales, Pythagoras, and (...) Parmenides, to Socrates, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Augustine. The book's great virtue is that it is written by one of the world's leading authorities on the subject. Instead of an uncritical, straightforward recitation of known facts-Plato and his cave of shadows, Aristotle's ethics, Augustine's City of God-we see the major philosophers through the eyes of a man who has spent a lifetime contemplating their work. Thus we do not simply get an overview of Aristotle, for example, but a penetrating and insightful critique of his thought. Kenny offers an illuminating account of the various schools of thought, from the Pre-Socratics to the Epicureans. He examines the development of logic and reason, ancient ideas about physics ("how things happen"), metaphysics and ethics, and the earliest thinking about the soul and god. Vividly written, but serious and deep enough to offer a genuine understanding of the great philosophers, Kenny's lucid and stimulating history will become the definitive work for anyone interested in the people and ideas that shaped the course of Western thought. (shrink)
Historically embryogenesis has been among the most philosophically intriguing phenomena. In this paper I focus on one aspect of biological development that was particularly perplexing to the ancients: self-organisation. For many ancients, the fact that an organism determines the important features of its own development required a special model for understanding how this was possible. This was especially true for Aristotle, Alexander, and Simplicius, who all looked to contemporary technology to supply that model. However, they did not all agree on (...) what kind of device should be used. In this paper I explore the way these ancients made use of technology as a model for the developing embryo. I argue that their different choices of device reveal fundamental differences in the way each thinker understood the nature of biological development itself. In the final section of the paper I challenge the traditional view (dating back to Alexander's interpretation of Aristotle) that the use of automata in GA can simply be read off from their use in the de motu. (shrink)
While visiting original sites provides a clear benefit to study in ancient history, art, and archaeology, this benefit of such an activity for philosophy is less conclusive. In addition to describing a series of classes on Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle that used seven sites in Greece in a study abroad program, this paper draws on student surveys to argue that on-site sessions have two kinds of benefits. First, visiting sites can enhance understanding by providing important contextual information that (...) greater illustrates certain philosophical points. Second, visual aids available at on-site sessions also bring the reading of texts to life and increase a student's motivation to understand the material. (shrink)
The paper discusses the peculiarities of the analytic approach to the history of Ancientphilosophy in the context of other, more popular approaches and genres. This approach is based on finding out an implicit argumentation and problems in the philosophical texts, and establishing logical connections between them. The paper also considers the perspectives of application of this approach to patristic texts. In addition, it shows the necessity of formalization and symbolization in the analytic history of philosophy.
'We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts, have their root in Greece', the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley once wrote. It is in Greek that the questions which shaped the destiny of Western culture were asked, and so were the first attempts at an answer, and the search for a method of investigation. This book tries to rediscover the propulsive force that for over two millennia spread, and still lives in our system of thought. By systematically (...) quoting the very words of the leading actors and by tracing their sources, it leads the reader along a path where they will be able to observe the establishment of philosophical ideas and language, in an updated and balanced picture of archaic lore, of the thought of the classical and hellenistic ages, and of the philosophy of late antiquity. The book looks closely at the progress of scientific thought and at its increasing autonomy, while following the evolution of the fruitful yet problematic relationship between the Greek world and the Near East. (shrink)
The "old chestnuts" of this engaging volume are, to quote its cover, "well-known passages in the works of ancient philosophers about which one might have thought everything there is to say has already been said"; its "sacred cows" are "views about what ancient philosophers thought, on issues of philosophical importance, that have attained the status of near-unquestioned orthodoxy." The degree of success in the targeting of such bovine targets among the thirteen papers is variable: thus Shaul Tor makes (...) short work of the ancient view, newly revived by Daniel Graham, that pre-Platonic natural philosophers operated with purely mechanical systems ; Amber Carpenter takes aim, via... (shrink)
Edited by one of the most renowned scholars in the field, Voices of AncientPhilosophy: An Introductory Reader is a unique and accessible introduction to the richness of ancientphilosophy. Featuring a topical--as opposed to chronological--organization, this text introduces students to the wide range of approaches and traditions in ancientphilosophy. In each section Annas presents the ancient debates on a particular philosophical topic, drawing on a greater diversity of ancient sources than (...) a chronological approach allows. The book is divided into six sections: Fate and Freedom; Reason and Emotion; Knowledge, Belief, and Skepticism; Metaphysical Questions; How Should You Live?; and Society and the State. Annas includes a generous selection of the works of Plato and Aristotle, as well as those of the Stoics, Epicureans, and Skeptics. She also includes selections from less familiar philosophers and from authors in whose works philosophical issues arise, such as poets, medical writers, historians, and Jewish and Christian writers. The volume features biographical sketches of the philosophers, a timeline, and short discussions of the major movements in ancientphilosophy. An excellent text for courses in ancientphilosophy and history of philosophy, Voices of AncientPhilosophy: An Introductory Reader will also be of interest to scholars and general readers. (shrink)